Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Coffin Torture - Dismal Planet

Cover art by Thorfinn

Coffin Torture couldn't really have chosen a better name for their album. Dismal Planet works as both a reference to the state of the Earth in these times and as a reflection of the gargantuan sludge/doom the duo rely on to break up all that wax crusting up your ears.

Thorfinn handles guitar, bass, and vocals with Blind Samson handling drums, keyboards, and samples. You'll have to listen hard for those keys and samples but that's okay because this begs to be cranked to maximum volume. Secure any loose items first unless you want them on the floor. The level of low end distortion emanating from the speakers registers on the Richter Scale. It's a planet-sized record bleeding filth and darkness enough that “dismal” could be the most appropriate descriptor needed.

Coffin Torture work through a variety of tempos but by and large they operate on two levels; doom and sludge. Slow and not as slow. The faster parts are really driven by the percussion as the fuzz truly permeates the auditory spectrum and flows into one overwhelming wave of distortion. Layers stack upon one another until it creates a sound so thick and sustaining that silence is just not an option. The notes though are not hidden by the blanket of sustained noise affecting every nerve in your body. They just resonate. The notes hit like hammers and leave a lasting impression of residual amplifier strain.

The nuance here is subtle but effective. A ringing phone here, some psychedelic flavouring there, etc. In a way the straightforward nature of their low-slung sludge-conjuring doom doesn't have much to say but when the music holds you down and delivers this much pain the most poignant things to say don't even come out as words. In much the same way the lyrics come as perhaps less important than the way they are expressed. I'm sure Thorfinn would disagree, and I'm not trying to discount lyrics in any way but you can't help but feed off the rawness of the vocals.

It's pretty obvious what you're getting with Dismal Planet. Mountain-crumbling doom fused to sick sludge riffs heavy enough to affect your gas mileage. Coffin Torture bury the listener neck deep in fuzz then deliver a righteous beating that only dents the wall of distortion. Duos like this have a way of getting in, kicking ass, and getting out before the supernova explodes. Explode away.